THE BRIDE WINS BOTH TIMES
To provoke the pasture’s ladder, to wash out the cat’s message,
What you hear through the walls is panic coming here.
In Morocco he whipped slaves. First I open the chest.
The ribs turn gray. I hold tight to the shovels, birds rip them from
my hands. I saw nomads, women on horseback. The dog days will come dressed in a
T-shirt. I’ll show your hand, my hand is your hand.
Who drinks foliage through the silver of trees? A carriage couldn’t
race by here, the brambles would wreck it. A believer
climbs the fence, look at that big little trumpet flaring its
nostrils. Debar clings to terraces, the house is full
of snails. Snow is beautiful. The moon calms his lips.
You flash him signals for cricket, eat chickens at midnight.
Isn’t the wood for bramblebees rowing the river?
They think nothing of closing the eyebrows of someone like you.
To chop up cotton and read through a cookbook.
To be running behind and hang from your lower jaw.
I’m free to drink bottoms up. Ganymede
gets stuck in a summerhouse. And oh how flowers grew by the
pathways. Do you see how I lopped off their heads?
Do you see how I step on his scalp as an officer?
They poured streams of hot water on me to harden my
mustache. They peeled the enamel off Cassandra’s tooth.
By god, she marches over purple plums. She salutes and
keeps marching on the purple plums. A washed pot, if
you shine a deer in it, vomits craquelures back in your
mouth and eyes. King of the news, hitch up your sleigh, trample
and yarrow. There are petals in the cups. They beckon to a feast
of the moon. Elongated horses are the hairstyle around
the moon. Giants fight over cards. Giants rake
leaves. The rakes may go, the sand remains, the rakes
may go, the earth remains. Bang! goes a rake handle, and hits
a giant in the head, because somebody stepped on the
rake tines. Doves are the tiles between cathedrals. Woodsmen
bend down, get up, bend down, the town hall is split on its
peak. A peacock takes pity on a lake. Replace
tooth with fake gemstone, woodsman with wooden
boat. Mists rampage in the comics. The horse is fond
of white. A beggar banging with a stick on the edge of
a bell has sand and rain pouring from his hat.
Gums are a cozy nest. Draw little jugs out of the clay. The Turks
made off with Srebrna while she drank at a well.
HONEY AND HOLOFERNES
I’ve invented a machine that, as soon as a goldfinch opens
its throat, starts dumping bags of concrete inside. Who licked the candies
into concrete, we don’t know. Who then brought
the concrete to life, we don’t know. The goldfinch sails. The goldfinch
sings. Where are you, Eugenijus? Racing across, opening
a hollow with your fingernails. You the pain of the contour, me
that of the train. Linda Bierds drives a car that comes
from the Tatras. The condor ripens the bird. My trousers smell like
gasoline. Do you see the pool? Do you see the pool? Do you see
the angel’s elbow? It led me to those cliffs arrayed
like Vikings. Zebras have scraped eyes.
Ibrahim, Drago and Miklavž are great guys.
Iodine boils a bird’s head. It dies in the mud. I
swallow bread. What did you see in the inner
darkness to earn it? A bifurcation for
both and the bent, silver-plated head of a
walking stick? Boxes of honey delivered
by parachute, which deer antlers
provided? Pythagoras is plunder. A cat licks
his ears all summer and winter. Pins directed
the bloodflow of saints. Stones erode
on the shoals. I shove Diran’s head away from
the table. This clump is a tombolo. And that
pigeon on the plate. Mother of pearl. Gray head.
Every ball is a bloody, beautiful mask of powerful people.
We make up pretzels.
I always did like chickens.
O, slender fez, mildew perching on its fur.
The poet is an oafish celeb on a hood.
Of every wondrous power. On a hood.
I glance over my right shoulder and see
a lake with the canon bathing in it.
The marmots that shot past me weren’t
marmots. Come on, god, sail off to abstraction.
Stepfather! Your mouthful eats soup, you only see it.
Nem Keckeget arrives in Japan and jumps down.
Us Us darns stockings. Here are the teeth of the
iron comb that still remembers the station
and steam, but for Cendrars no longer matters.
The only thing now is that you can’t just
pleasantly say, “if you’d take off that shirt,
too,” the way Marci and Hudi said it to me.